ST. CLOUD - From the minute you walked into the River's Edge Convention Center you could feel the excitement. Small but skillfully crafted robots designed by innovative and hard working young people, fought for the right to move on to the national competition.

With so much on the line the event drew quite the crowd.

The stands were packed for the Minnesota State Vex Robotics Championships. It was competition at its finest. Hard fought battles on the field but quality sportsmanship when each match ended.

This year the event needed almost the entire convention center to contain all of its competitions.

Aaron Barker, the director of the competition, says the event was not always this big.

"We started this seven years ago with 22 teams in the state of Minnesota, we were able to hold this event in a small gymnasium. Now we have grown to 230 teams in the state and we take up the entire Rivers Edge Convention Center."

A group of young competitors from ROCORI said they worked on their robot every day and hoped to one day make it to nationals.  These young men and Barker wanted to let everyone know that competitive robotics is fun and for everyone.

If you would like to know more about Vex robotics check out this website

Justin LaBounty WJON